Scraptoft Witches Cave.
In a small woods on the east side of Leicester lays a very unusual small building. A tiny dwelling of one room, complete with a furnace that’s surrounded by a decoration of shells and set into a tall mound of earth.
Many stories and legends seem to be associated with the “cave”.
The dwelling is located in a small woods next to the new housing development on the outskirts of Scraptoft.
This land used to be next to the Scraptoft De Montfort University Campus.
Before this is was part of the gardens of Scaptoft Hall (Which still stands today) which was once owned by the Wigley Family.
The most popular story told when teenagers explore the woods is that it was once home to witch.
The story changes between each group and these stories are then passed down to future generations so each telling is different.
Most stories of witches that are told in Leicester include a variant of the tale of Black Annis.
In Short, Black Annis is a bogeyman figure in Leicester folklore, she is said to be a blue faced hag with iron claws and a taste of human flesh, especially children.
More information on Black Annis can be found on The Leicester Chronicle article by clicking here (article in the works).
What was “Witches Cave” actually was used for.
Unfortunately the dwelling has nothing to do with anything of the Paranormal.
It was in fact a pagoda type building used by the Wigley family of Scaptoft Hall to entertain guests with a magnificent view over their gardens and a distant view towards Bradgate. This would have been mid 18th century
The pagoda would have sit on top of the large earth mound and the shell lined grotto underneath would have been used for heating and cooking. The building was also used for storage and possibly an icehouse.
It is said to be designed by James Wigley (who died in 1765)
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If you are interested in the paranormal stories of Leicester then we recommend the following book (Click on the images or links below)
“A creepy collection of true-life tales from local writer Andrew James Wright, who regularly gives talks on the subject of hauntings in Leicester..”
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